The idea of horse racing tipping services is undoubtedly seductive.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply tap into the expertise of successful, experienced punters and do as they do?
Not only would this save you huge amounts of time and effort, if they really know their stuff, you are guaranteed to make good profits, year in, year out – aren’t you?
Well, maybe. The above is the theory on which horse racing tipping services work. And yes, its right as far as it goes.
However, as with many things in life, it’s not always that straightforward in practice.
To start with, how do you locate a well-run, profitable service? This is a field in which misleading advertising abounds.
You can see examples every day on Channel 4 Teletext.
Horse tipping services here regularly highlight their latest big money winners, while conveniently forgetting to mention all their other losing selections.
Remember – anyone who tips enough horses can get one or two good results.
It’s not the high-priced winners you should be concentrating on, but the overall return on your investment.
Another popular ruse is quoting winnings in terms of an impressive-sounding number of ‘points’, without explaining what exactly these points mean.
For example, if a service claims 200 points’ profit in a year, it sounds great – until you discover that their average bet is (say) 500 points.
In a case such as this, the service would actually be claiming a net profit of £200 if you staked £500 on all its selections over the course of a year. OK, that’s a profit, but hardly an impressive one!
Still another wheeze is to run a large number of different horse tipping services, with names such as Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Premium, Best Bets, and so on.
Again, if you operate enough services, one is almost certain to show a profit. Guess then which service gets all the publicity in the company’s advertising?
More seriously, horse tipping services have provided a happy hunting ground for crooks and scammers.
An example from a few years ago was ‘The Navigater’ (yes, that’s how they spelt it!).
This was marketed as a business opportunity giving people the chance to earn huge profits by ‘investing’ in gambling information. It was advertised in the business pages of certain national newspapers.
This horse racing scam was exposed by a Channel Five TV programme called ‘Are You Being Cheated?’ They discovered that The Navigater charged almost £5,000 a year for membership.
And what did buyers get for all this money? The premium rate phone number of an unsuccessful tipping service! Some people were duped out of their life savings by the Navigater, which has now vanished without trace.
A more recent horse racing scam was run by an outfit called The Racing Connection (thankfully now defunct as well).
They sent out mailshots offering to invest money in betting on members’ behalf, promising to forward winnings every week, less their 20% commission.
Not only that, they promised to return members’ stake money if unsuccessful.
What happened was that people sending money (up to £2,000 in some instances) never saw any of it again.
A letter sent to one woman who complained after losing £400 explained that the company had gambled all her money and lost it.
The letter said: ‘I did not guarantee or promise anything. You will not find these words in the text of the offer. I only point out our AIM. This is what I set out to do, not guaranteed to do.’
Presumably these weasel words enabled the company to wriggle out of any legal liability, but a scam it was nevertheless.
So before you invest any money in a horse tipping service, it’s important to proceed with caution and check out the service carefully – performing what business people refer to as ‘due diligence’.
Here are The 5 Simple Rules to Follow To Avoid Horse Racing Scams:
Rule 1 – Don’t be seduced by glossy, expensive-looking brochures.
These prove nothing, beyond the fact that someone has a decent advertising budget.
Rule 2 – Research the Company
Do some research about a service before parting with any money. Check this website, phone them up (if there’s no telephone number, be doubly suspicious) and ask a few questions – this can often be highly revealing.
Rule 3 – Check the track record
Don’t be swayed by long lists of big-priced winners. As mentioned earlier, if you tip loads of horses you are bound to get a few correct.
In addition, the prices mentioned in ads may only have been available from one or two bookies for a very short period (if at all).
See the track record in full. Ask for it. If the company cannot provide you with a list of each and every tip then avoid as it could be a scam.
Rule 4 – Ask what profits it made per year.
With a tipping service, remember that the only thing that really matters is its overall profitability, taking into account the cost of all losing selections plus the service itself.
Also ask to what stakes the returns are based on.
Rule 5 – What guarantee do they offer.
Unfortunately many betting services offer no money back guarantee. You should probably avoid all of these services.
Truth is if something works then you should be able to get a trial period of at least 30 days.
Often you’ll need to register credit or debit card details – this is fine – but you only pay after the full trial and if you find the results satisfactory.
No trial = No payment.
Keep to these 5 simple rules to avoid scams and you’ll very quickly keep more money in your pocket and hopefully find a winning service or two.
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Category: General Advice
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